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Thursday, 01 May 2003 ,  Written by Ed Masterson
Conrad Johnson Premier 18LS AV Preamplifier
Introduction Over the last 25 years, Conrad-Johnson has earned a reputation for its mastery of the art of tube-based amplifier design. Many of their amplifiers and preamplifiers have received considerable praise from music lovers and AV industry professionals alike. As a statement piece, Conrad-Johnson’s ultra-expensive ART preamplifier has earned its way into some of the world’s absolute finest music playback systems. Until now, if you wanted a reference quality preamplifier from CJ, you had no choice but to deal with the maintenance and cost associated with tubes. Conrad-Johnson has released a new solid-state preamplifier, the Premier 18LS, in an attempt to satisfy those in love with CJ’s sound who simply are not willing and/or able to deal with the unavoidable hassles associated with owning a high-performance tube component. At $3,495, the Premier 18LS is the least expensive preamplifier in the Premier series. Even so, CJ spared no expense. As with all of the Premier preamplifiers, CJ ...
Tuesday, 01 April 2003 ,  Written by Ed Masterson
Classé SSP 30 MKII AV Preamplifier/Processor
Introduction Classé Audio has been producing high-performance audio/video electronics for more than 20 years. From their factory in Quebec, Canada, they have produced gear that has arguably performed among the absolute best of its kind, oftentimes at a much-reduced price when compared directly to its competition. For many years, I used the Classe’ CA-150 amplifier in my reference system and have long respected Classé for both value, performance and their simple yet tasteful aesthetics and exceptional build quality. The SSP 30 MKII A/V preamp represents the entry level in preamplification and theater processing from Classé. The original SSP 30 had all of the latest features in theater processing at the time of its release. Since then, several new formats have been developed, so the SSP 30 needed a major update to stay competitive in this quickly evolving market. The SSP 30 MKII is currently available at a price of $3,000. With the MKII, in addition to ...
Wednesday, 01 May 2002 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Camelot Roundtable Mk.2 DVD Player
Introduction The Camelot Technology RoundTable Mk.2 is a 24-bit/192 kHz progressive scan DVD player, with a host of audio and video features, that sells for $4,995. Camelot offers a factory upgrade path for the original RoundTable priced at $995 plus $25 return shipping fee, equaling the price as the factory Mk.2 version. The Mk.2 Roundtable is packaged identically to the original (reviewed by Jerry Del Colliano on AudioRevolution.com in the October 2000 issue), measuring 17 inches wide, 12 inches deep and three-and-one-half inches in height. In fact, the only way you can physically tell the difference between the two is the slight yet distinctive clicking sound from the Mk.2’s DACs while sampling a CD or DVD. For those who are used to mass-market DVD players, this unit is sure to tickle your fancy. The RoundTable Mk.2 has a ruggedly built steel chassis, finished in black and accentuated by a one-quarter-inch thick aluminum faceplate, a stark and ...
Sunday, 01 July 2001 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Conrad Johnson Premier 17 LS Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction Many audio/video enthusiasts find themselves in a position where their desire for the ultimate A/V system exceeds their actual budget, finding themselves perhaps an inheritance or two short of the money to actually purchase their "perfect system." For those of us in this category, we must carefully build our ultimate systems one piece at a time. There has long been debate as to which product is best suited to build your system around. If you don’t have a good power amplifier, you likely can’t build your system around the speakers, as your dream speakers might need more and better power. I don’t think anyone would dispute the validity of building your system around your source equipment, such as a CD player, but with imminent change to the digital format (DVD-Audio, SACD), this might not be your best option right now. What the next digital format will be is anybody’s guess. In my opinion, ...
Sunday, 01 April 2001 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Conrad Johnson MF2500 Stereo Power Amplifier
Introduction Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson joined forces in the early 1970's to form Conrad-Johnson Design, Inc. with the goal of building high quality tubed audio preamplifiers. From the beginning Conrad Johnson was all about the sound and stayed far from the hype and flash of the high end audio industry’s hey days of that era. Conrad Johnson’s first amplifier, the MV-75 was introduced in 1978. The MV-75's success opened the doors for Conrad Johnson to become a serious contender in amplifiers as well as preamplifiers. Conrad Johnson produced its first solid state electronics in a new line called Motif. The Motif line was soon after joined by the Sonographe line to form a respectable product offering of solid state gear, from mid-level high end and up. The company continued to develop both tube and solid state gear and has used its two and a half decades of experience to bring us its latest products, ...
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